Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On Gratitude...

Gratitude quote printable 8x10. "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" - Anonymous 
I have been thinking on gratitude a lot today. I have a child who, despite all he has been blessed with just doesn't GET gratitude.  Doesn't get it.   And I don't know what to do to help him see and understand all that he has.  It is frustrating.  

I have always been a "glass half full" kind of girl.  I don't know how else to do it.  And I am so grateful for that gift alone because I see how others struggle to find the good in the crappiest of situations.  I most strikingly noticed this trait about myself 7 years ago.  My husband and I were in Mexico on vacation when I suddenly miscarried at almost 13 weeks.  It was totally unexpected and devastating.  We had a 2 1/2 year old and 4 year old at home and they both were excited to have a new sibling.  While I was waiting to go into surgery, I was alone with just a pad and paper (my phone had died).  I decided to make a list of the things I was grateful for in spite of just suffering a loss.  It was a silly list...but it was a lifeline for me.  And that simple act of writing down what I was grateful for in a moment of quiet sadness and desperation set the course of how I was to deal with a loss.  It showed me something about myself.  It showed me that even at the worst moment, I am STILL a glass half full kind of girl.

But how do you teach that to someone else?  Is it something they either have or they don't?  Is it a personality trait?  Can you learn it?  If you CAN learn it, does that lesson only come by heartache and hardship?  I truly do not know.

I can see how hard life can be for someone who is not grateful. I don't want that life of "lack" for my children.  This is one of those days where being a human being...just being a parent seems very very hard.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou...

Maya Angelou passed away today at the seasoned age of 86.  I always thought she was a classy woman.  Earthy and full of grace at the same time.  I love this graphic above and am grateful for the treasure trove of work she left us.  She was truly a national treasure.  Rest in Peace, Maya.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thumbprint of You...

Thumbprint portrait. Scraps of paper all about you.
This is genius (in my opinion). It is a thumprint using scraps of paper...all about YOU.  Find scraps in magazines, newspapers, etc.  Cut up, turn into a finger/thumbprint.  It would be a fantastic gift too!  Think of how much your mom or dad would love something like this...

Love it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bloom Where You Are Planted...

These are the fields near my house.  In the springtime, these yellow flowers burst out and a swear, it is like angels dipped their paintbrushes in color and filled our landscape.  I am always grateful to live where I do but springtime in the Bay Area is my favorite.  For color that is.  Not so much for allergies :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Centerpiece Starring a Vintage Crate and Mason Jars!


A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a neighbors garage sale and brought home this beauty of a box!  Vintage, perfect coloring, wood in good condition.  Then I grabbed my chalkpaint colored mason jars (I made a dozen for a bridal shower back in February), filled them with purple wildflowers and viola!  A sprint centerpiece on our dining room table.

Vintage crates like the one pictured above usually go for between $20-$60 depending on dealer, size, condition.  My neighbor gave me a generous price of $20; you can be sure I will be going back to her post haste :).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter 2014


It was Easter this past weekend.  We enjoyed lovely spring weather and an incredible feast with family and friends.  But most importantly, we prayerfully considered and expressed gratitude for Jesus Christ.  Easter is all about the Savior and His resurrection.  To learn more about my beliefs visit here.  I am grateful for my faith, my testimony, my family.  I love being Mormon; I can't imagine my life without my faith.


Here is this amazing family of mine.  I love that 3 of us are in VERY similar glasses, and 3 without.  Remarkably, we are all smiling at the same time and looking in the same direction.  It was an Easter miracle :).  Both of my daughters dresses are from Target (recently).  My whole outfit is from Anthropologie.  The boys...who knows where those clothes are from?!

On Saturday we had a little backyard Easter egg hunt for our chickpeas.  Very fun.  I have the happiest memories of my grandparents doing an ALL OUT hunt for us every year.  Money in the eggs, our favorite candies, giant chocolate bunnies.  It was epic.  I am trying to teach my children to focus on the reason for the Easter holiday to begin with (Jesus Christ) but we still have our family traditions :)

The kids opened their baskets in the playroom on Sunday morning.  Everyone got one thing they had been asking for/looking forward to (oldest son was the next book in his favorite series, oldest daughter a pair of yoga pants, etc.) and then of course lots of candy :).  Most of which was gone by the time we got to church at 1 PM.

Hey, the parentals get Easter gifts too in our house.  I gifted Sam with a hockey puck from our favorite minor league team the Stockton Thunder - our fave player is #24 Hunt.  He was so happy :).  And that incredible man bought me a new kitchen faucet.  WAY nicer than the ones I had been looking at.  He spoiled me :).  I know, a hockey puck and a faucet?  You are thinking that isn't very special but trust me, for us it is :).  We are awesomely unconventional.  

Later we enjoyed the yummiest feast maybe ever :).  Corned beef, roasted corn on the cob, sour cream and cheese potato casserole AND baked potatoes, grilled asparagus, salad.  And a giant strawberry shortcake trifle for dessert.  Good grief it was epically delicious.   

All in all, a lovely Easter weekend had by all.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vintage Bottlecap Magnets

You guys.  These are the easiest things in the world to make.  Like EVER.

Step 1 - find a source of old bottlecaps.  Some people collect them, some find them on ebay, some find them in thrift/antique stores.  Me?  I have a guy on ebay that I get them from.

Step 2 - go to Michaels or Home Depot and get a pack of small circular magnets.

Step 3 - with a hot glue gun, attach the small magnets to the back of the bottle caps.


I completed my sets (which are sold in stores around the Bay Area as gift items and on my etsy site) by getting metal carpet tacks (I think that's what they are called) at Home Depot and backing with my business card.

So simple.  Great gift.  The end :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sprucing Up the Play Kitchen

We have had this play kitchen for many years.  I originally found it at a church garage sale and did some work to it (added the feet and trim at the base, tile on the "backsplash''). First it was a glossy red.  Then black.  Then white.  It spent some time in my youngest daughters bedroom but she wasn't really using it so I relocated it to the playroom.  But hey, if it is in the playroom and I am going to look at it all the time it needs to look better.  Right?

So I invested in exactly 1 can of chrome spraypaint (I think it was Rustoleum) from Home Depot, sprayed the heck out of that kitchen and voila.  Much better.

And guess what?  The kids use it :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Me and Chewy...

This is my youngest son.  We lovingly refer to him as "Chewy".  Because, I mean, come on...look how squishy and cute he is.  Seriously.  He prefers to call himself Turtle (notice the little turtle sitting ON my chest?  He carries it everywhere).

So this is me...with Chewy/Turtle, lounging on our couch with my new favorite pillow from World Market Cost Plus.  Good times.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Be THAT mom

One of the reasons I am slow to post lately is that...drumroll please...we have a new computer!

Which should be the best news ever.  And it IS.

But the learning curve with this puppy is throwing me for a loop.  It is an HP Envy - 17" laptop with touch screen.  So after nearly 7 years working on a MacBook, I am teaching myself how to 1. Work with a PC and 2. learn how to work between a keyboard and touchscreen efficiently.

I'm getting there...but it is taking time.
I Love this!
Tonight my youngest son got sick.  He was moving SLOW before and after dinner and was out of sorts.  We can always count on him to clean his plate and have boundless energy until the bitter end (ie: bedtime) but tonight he was rubbing his eyes and at one point fell asleep cuddled into me on the couch.  My mama heart was warm.  He is a very busy 4 year old boy with precious little time for cuddling.  So even though I could tell he wasn't at his best, I loved that brief time on the couch.

And then 10 minutes after my cuddles he threw up.  ALL over the couch.

Which wasn't a big deal because, come on.  We have 4 kids.  This stuff happens.  My husband and I have the triage team thing down to a science. 

I cleaned up the boy, we worked on the couch/floor and then I took him upstairs for a shower.  He was so lethargic and was happy to lay in my arms afterwards, wrapped up in a towel.  And THAT right there is maybe one of the best parts of being a mom.  Making your child feel safe and secure and clean and warm.  Where they feel like everything is going to be OK because MOM is here.  That is the best.  And that stuff is when I am at my best.  That's when I'm fully present and the kind of mom I want them to remember.

I have noticed, with my older kids in particular, that the memories we are making as a family never seem to include stuff we have bought or even places we have been.  The kids remember FEELINGS.  My oldest is almost 11 and even with that short life he has nostalgia for certain places or foods or events - and it is always tied to how he FELT in that moment.  I want to commit to remembering to be the mom that inspires happiness and zest and creativity and warmth and JOY.  I want to be the mom I want them to remember.

My oldest son was sick recently in Utah over our Christmas vacation.  It was a weird 8 hour flu thing - throwing up, fever, chills, pain - the whole 9 yards.  And naturally he wanted mom at 4 AM :).  I ended up making him a little bed in the bathroom so that he could be near the toilet but could at least lay down.   As I was getting him situated, in his feverish sick state he started telling me about ALL of the other times he has been sick and I have been there to take care of him.  And how thankful he is for that.

Seriously.  THAT is the good stuff right there.  I'm not a fan of vomit or breathing machines late at night or runny noses.  Or of struggles with friends and bad grades and forgetfulness.  But I am a HUGE fan of my kids and all of their quirks and personality.  And this time is passing by so fast.  SO fast.  In a little over a decade all of my children will be out on their own and the time for intense mothering will most likely be over.  They will be on to new adventures and friends and even families as they create their own lives and loves.  And I WANT them to remember mom in all the best possible ways.  It's important to me.

So today I commit to being a more present mom.  More compassionate.  More forgiving.  More creative and adventurous than I already am :)  So that someday when they think on the word "mom"...there are lots of warm memories that are attached to my name.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hi friends :)

I feel like I have been a negligent host of late.  Well...for several months actually.  One of my goals in the coming year is to pay more attention to this space of the interwebs that I own.  This is a place that acts as my design journal, landing spot for ideas, journal...everything.  Over the holidays I had some delightful downtime and found myself getting newly inspired by some new-to-me blogs.  I REALLY appreciate fresh inspiration.  SO...I promise to be more attentive and really make this blog as beautiful and helpful as I know it can be.

So without further ado, welcome 2014! 

2013 was a stretchy kind of year.  Does that even make sense?  I guess that I mean 2013 stretched me I some new ways, painful ways at times.  There were a lot of ups and downs.  There were many times throughout the year when my husband and I would look at each other and say "Is this really happening?".  Or "What on earth is going on?". 

The good news is we came out of 2013 stronger, braver, more excited about the future than perhaps any other year before.  And that is always a good thing.

I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me personally, and for my family.  BRING IT :)